Minnesota defeats St. Mary's to move on to the third round of the NIT.
After falling behind 14-0 to start the game, Minnesota did not give up and pulled out a 63-55 victory over the Gaels. Minnesota will now face the winner of the Southern Miss/Missouri game, held later today.
The Gophers did not lead in the game until five minutes into the second half. St. Mary's looked in control through the first quarter of the game but give up a 13-2 run to Minnesota and never seemed to recover.
St. Mary's has Stephen Holt to thank for keeping them in the game as long as they were. Holt finished with 24 points, 43% of their total score. St. Mary's other big scorer, Brad Waldow, was nearly a no-show, having only 3 points on the day.
Despite their slow start, Minnesota posted three double digit scorers. Joey King and DeAndre Mathieu combined for 32 points and really helped get their team going. Austin Hollins did his fair share as well, posting 10 points himself.
The biggest impact on the game was the decision by Minnesota to start playing pressure. Once they were pressing on St. Mary's, they were completely thrown off their game plan and looked panicked. The decision by Minnesota was a great one but St. Mary's really should have adjusted to it by the end of the game and it ultimately cost them.
Final Score St. Mary's 55 Minnesota 63
Top performers for each team:
St Mary's: 8-20 FMG-A, 4-5 3PM-A, 6-11 FTM-A
Stephen Holt: 6-15 FGM-A, 3-5 3PM-A, 9-11 FTM-A, 24 points
james Walker III: 2-3 FGM-A, 1-1 3PM-A, 4-8 FTM-A, 9 points
Minnesota: 7-20 FMG-A, 2-10 3PM-A, 6-10 FTM-A
Joey King: 5-8 FGM-A, 2-4 3PM-A, 6-7 FTM-A, 18 points
DeAndre Mathieu: 4-8 FGM-A, 2-3 3PM-A, 4-4 FTM-A, 14 points
Charles Mann: 4-9 FGM-A, 5-8 FTM-A, 2 Steals, 13 total points